Talking to books

Bound within
you keep your worlds,
riddle-inked
and layered paper-thin,
guarded by
librarian loyalty
until your words
are ferociously freed
in prose of verse:
the nightshade burning veins
or blossom-scent in spring.

With your magic you can
tumble towers,
wage wars
or bring butterflies to ash.
You are passion,
lies and facts
both perpetrator and messenger,
the victim’s friendless voice,
the ruler’s rules.
but you are bound bound
until I’m dared
to read!

This is an apostrophe written for Amaya at dVerse. The aged librarian talking to his books.

December 5, 2019

21 responses to “Talking to books

  1. I always feel as if I know your librarian, Björn! Perhaps I’ve met him and didn’t realise. He reminds me of Sourdust, the librarian in Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast. A wonderful apostrophe, with imagery that will be hard to forget, such as ‘riddle-inked’ and ‘the nightshade burning veins / or blossom-scent in spring’. I love that the books have magic to:
    ‘tumble towers,
    wage wars
    or bring butterflies to ash.’

  2. “Bound within
    you keep your worlds,
    riddle-inked
    and layered paper-thin,”
    I simply adore the microscope you used to work your magic. I also love the dual use of bound.

  3. A very clever use of the prompt, and very effective. Your word-smithing is off the chart, as noted. Another visit to the aged librarian is always a literary an\d emotional treat.

  4. This is just so clever! I love how you touched on the manifold applications and faces that a book has, and then that the entirety of a collection then has. This was especially potent,
    “ the victim’s friendless voice,
    the ruler’s rules.”
    And I suppose there is no way to do the second part of the challenge, as the books plainly speak for themselves, addressing us, forevermore!

  5. I am deeply taken by your poem, Björn. You blind us almost with your
    vivid imagery which doesn’t falter at any stage.
    You put us there, with the librarian and all the books. Feeling the strength and also entertainment they contain. The danger and the positive.

    Miriam

  6. What the academics call it — intertextuality — books talking to books, of which we are the somewhat free agents. The “bound bound” in the penultimate line is puzzling — double-bound, as in locked on shelves until the reader freely lifts them?

  7. Of course, as a lover of book,s this poem speaks to me.
    “You are passion,
    lies and facts
    both perpetrator and messenger”
    Frozen in time
    until freed by a reader.

  8. Pingback: Talking to books — Björn Rudbergs writings – everything's blog·

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